Tampa Bay’s path to the AL Division Series has been far from simple. The Rays were forced to finish the regular season strong, just to play a tie-breaking game against the Texas Rangers on Monday in Texas, which gave them the right to play in the Wild Card Game against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday in Cleveland, only to then turn around and travel to Boston for today’s ALDS Game 1 against the Red Sox. The Rays have celebrated twice already this week, but they’re running into a potential gauntlet with the AL-best Red Sox refreshed and ready for them.
Boston won the season series between the two teams, winning 12 of their 19 matchups. Six of those games between these two teams came down to the final innings, lending plenty of speculation to the idea that this series could feature some truly exciting games.
Date: Friday, October 4th
Start Time: 3:00 PM EST
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Venue: Fenway Park
TV Info: TBS
Radio Info: ESPN Radio, WEEI 93.7 (BOS), WDAE 620 (TB)
Live Stream: MLB.tv or the MLB at Bat 12 App.
Matching up on the mound will be a pair of lefties – with Matt Moore taking the hill for Tampa Bay and Jon Lester on the bump for Boston. Moore had a stellar season – starting 8-0 before finishing at 17-4 on the year with a 3.29 ERA. He’d miss some brief time with an arm injury but that appears to be fully behind him at this point. Moore’s developed into a second ace for the Rays over the past year and he’s earned the Game 1 nod, even if it isn’t Tampa Bay’s first postseason game this year. Lester will counter for Boston, in front of what should be a loud home crowd assuming the early afternoon rains can hold off in the Boston area. Lester went 15-8 on the year, with a 3.75 ERA. He’s 7-2 with a 2.57 ERA since the All Star Break.